By Kathleen Ronayne : smdailyjournal – excerpt

In an effort to spur affordable housing production and aid California’s economic recovery due to the COVID-19 crisis, Senate Democrats unveiled a package of legislation intended to bolster production of new housing and remove existing barriers by further streamlining the development process, according to Senate President Toni Atkins, D-San Diego.

According to Atkins, the package of bills will lead to more construction jobs and apprenticeships opportunities that will strengthen the economic viability of working families and the state.

It follows the work of state Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco, after the defeat of his controversial Senate Bill 50…

The first bill, SB 902, by Wiener, allows local governments to pass a zoning ordinance that is not subject to the California Environmental Quality Act for projects that allow up to 10 units, if they are located in a transit-rich area, jobs-rich area, or an urban infill site.
Atkins has her own bill, SB 995, that would expand the application of streamlining the CEQA process to smaller housing projects that include at least 15% affordable housing. It also would broaden application and utilization of the Master Environmental Impact Report (MEIR) process, which allows cities to do upfront planning that streamlines housing approvals on an individual project level.
Another Atkins bill, SB 1120, would encourage small-scale neighborhood development by streamlining the process for a homeowner to create a duplex or subdivide an existing lot in all residential areas.
SB 1085 by state Sen. Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley, would enhance the existing density bonus law by increasing the number of incentives provided to developers in exchange for providing more affordable units.
SB 1385, by state Sen. Anna Caballero, D-Salinas, would unlock existing land zoned for office and retail use and allow housing to become an eligible use on those sites… (more)

Check out Livable California Act Now on for details on actions you may take to stop the bills you don’t like. Many communities and city leaders are calling for a time out on density as the population shifts during the pandemic. Many will not return to their offices choosing to work from home.

RELATED:

The Work-From-Home Revolution Is Quickly Gaining Momentum
by Jack Kelly : forbes – excerpt

…Kate Lister, President of Global Workplace Analytics, said according to her firm’s study that,  “Seventy-seven percent of the workforce say they want to continue to work from home, at least weekly, when the pandemic is over,” and Lister estimates that, “25-30% of the workforce will be working-from-home multiple days a week by the end of 2021.”…(more)

Twitter just told employees they can work from home permanently

By Aaron Holmes : businessinsider – excerpt

  • Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey told employees in an email on Tuesday that they could keep working from home indefinitely, even after COVID-19 lockdowns end.
  • Twitter won’t open most of its offices until September at the earliest, a representative told Business Insider.
  • It’s one of the most generous work-from-home policies put forward by a major tech company in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Other tech companies including Amazon, Microsoft, and Facebook have told employees that they can keep working from home through this fall… (more)
Maybe we need to stop building offices and re-zone some of them into living space and live-work?

New restrictions on office space in new Mission District developments move forward

By : sfexaminer – excerpt

The Planning Commission on Thursday voted to prohibit most office space in some new developments in the Mission District.

The unanimous vote Thursday on a proposal from Supervisor Hillary Ronen is intended to boost housing in projects within the urban mixed use (UMU) district that includes the South of Market, Potrero Hill, and the central waterfront, which was created to allow for residential and office space while preserving industrial uses.

The restrictions approved Thursday no longer allow new office space in the upper levels of certain developments within the UMU district, but scale back Ronen’s original proposal to include only the Mission District… (more)

“It’s unfortunate and inequitable to change the rules after it’s gone before the Planning Commission,”

It is also unfortunate and inequitable for a property owner to purchase a property under one set of rules and then lobby to change them. This is what is happening thanks to our state representatives that have bent over backyards to protect the interests of the wealthy landowners at the expense of the rest of society. Wall Street on Main Street is what we have in San Francisco, or in this case, on Harrison.

We shall see how many tech office spaces we need after this epidemic passes. They may build them and nobody may want them after all.

Fortunately, we have a choice of electing new representatives to serve us in Sacramento. Here is one option: https://jackieforsenate.com/

What, exactly, is going to get built on Geary and Masonic?

By Tim Redmond : 48hills – excerpt

It was first described as a mixed-use development, then as housing for families …. and now it’s furnished studios for ‘students and visiting professors.’

Just before the Board of Supes voted to approve a new 101-unit project on Geary and Masonic, we learned a critical piece of information:

The developer isn’t planning just to build housing for “working people and families” It’s going to be at least in part furnished rentals, which often becomes corporate rentals.

Sup. Dean Preston said that the developer told him the project only “pencils out” if a significant amount of it is furnished rentals – which bring in higher prices.

“All of their projections are based on furnished rentals,” Preston said. He said the developer needed 19 percent return, that 17 percent wasn’t enough.

The project, the supervisors were told, will be financed by a union pension fund…

So the project – whatever it actually is going to turn out to be – was approved 10-1. But the question still remains: Why is the city going along with a developer’s demand that the rules be relaxed for financial reasons – when nobody but a few supervisors have been able to see the data?… (more)

Approval process for Balboa Reservoir project gets underway

By Ida Mojadad : sfexaminer – excerpt

The mixed-use development would turn 17 acres of public land into housing by CCSF

The Balboa Reservoir project received the first approval on Thursday needed to rezone 17 acres of public land into housing.

At its first-ever virtual public meeting Thursday, the San Francisco Planning Commission unanimously approved the initiation of a General Plan Amendment for the 1,100-unit Balboa Reservoir project in Ingleside…

“It’s public land, it should be used for the public good,” Worley said. “The PUC shouldn’t be handing it over to private developers.”…

The public hearing will occur on or after April 30th and go before the Board of Supervisors for final approval in the summer….(more)

Balboa Reservoir Redevelopment Positioned for Approval, But…

Socketsite – excerpt (with drawings)

With the detailed Design Standards and Guidelines (DSG) document for the proposed redevelopment of San Francisco’s Balboa Reservoir having been drafted, the project team is now positioning to secure approvals from the City’s Planning Commission, Public Utilities Commission and SFMTA Board, after which San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors could then grant final approval for the proposed 1,100-unit, 17-acre project in the second half of this year…(more)

Stop the Privatization of Public Land in San Francisco

This is no time to sell public property. Why is the city buying expensive property in some neighborhoods and selling it in others? Due to the extensive changes anticipated in the coming months, the city should do what most of the public is doing and DO NOTHING until the economic conditions settle. Quit transferring property ownership. And, see other arguments here and send you comments and requst to the Planning Commission today if you hae not already done so. http://publiclandsforpublicgood.org/

During pubic comment, a speaker requested that the city suspend all non-emergency planning decisions during this emergency suspension of normal public hearings meetings and he gave good reasons for his request. We support this request while we are living under essential travel restrictions only.

More information and links ot contacts to write to:

Take Action

 

 

San Francisco Flower Mart May be Planted Southside

By Steven J. Moss : potreroview – excerpt

Proposals to relocate the 115,000 square foot San Francisco Flower Mart to 901 16th Street and 1200 17th Street, known as the “Corovan” site, or to Indiana Street between Cesar Chavez Street and Islais Creek, appear to be gaining traction, while efforts to repot the blossom businesses at the San Francisco Wholesale Produce Market, in Bayview, have wilted. Last month, the Potrero Boosters and Dogpatch Neighborhood Association (DNA) signaled their support to host the wholesale floral outlet, currently located at Sixth and Brannan streets, in Dogpatch or the Hill.

According to Gloria Chan, director of communications for the Office of Economic and Workforce Development (OEWD), Kilroy Reality, which is developing the existing Flower Mart site, is in private negotiations with the owners of the Corovan and Indiana Street properties.

“The City does not play any role in those private party negotiations,” said Chan…(more)